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POST-SHOOTING Powered By Docstoc

                               Model Policy

 Effective Date                                       Number
 May 1, 1990

 Post-Shooting Incident Procedures

 Reference                                            Special Instructions

 Distribution               Reevaluation Date         No. Pages
                            April 30, 1991

       The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines that shall be
       uniformly applied following any officerinvolved shooting incident that
       has resulted in death or serious bodily injury, in order to minimize the
       chances that involved personnel will develop or suffer from post-
       traumatic stress disorder.
       Law enforcement duties can often expose officers and support personnel
       to mentally painful and highly stressful situations that cannot be
       resolved through normal stress coping mechanisms. Unless adequately
       treated, these situations can cause disabling emotional and physical
       problems. It has been found that officer-involved shootings resulting
       in death or serious bodily injury to a citizen or a fellow officer may
       precipitate such stress disorders. It is the responsibility of this law
       enforcement agency to provide personnel with information on stress
       disorders and to guide and assist in their deterrence. Therefore, it
       shall be the policy of this agency to take immediate action after such
       incidents to safeguard the continued good mental health of all involved
       A. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: An anxiety disorder that can result
       from exposure to short-term severe stress, or the long-term buildup of
       repetitive and prolonged milder stress.
       B.    Officer-Involved Shooting Incident: A line-of-duty incident where
             shooting causes death or serious bodily injury to an officer or
             other person.
       A.    Handling of Officers at Scene of Shooting Incident
             1.    A supervisor shall be dispatched to the scene of the
                   incident, and shall assume primary responsibility in caring
                   for involved personnel.
             2.    The supervisor shall make appropriate arrangements for all
                   necessary medical treatment.
             3.    During any period where the involved officer is required to
                   remain on the scene, but has no immediate duties to fulfill,
                   the officer should be taken to a quiet area away from the
                   scene of the incident. A peer counselor or other supportive
                   friend or officer should remain with the officers, but
                   should be advised not to discuss details of the incident.
             4.    The supervisor should arrange for the officers directly
          involved in the incident to leave the scene as soon as
          possible, and be taken to a quiet, secure setting.
     5.   Where possible, the supervisor shall briefly meet with the
          involved officers.
          a.    No caffeine or other stimulants or depressants should
                be given to the officers unless administered by
                medical personnel.
          b.    Only minimal, preliminary questions should be asked
                about the incident. The officers should be advised
                that a more detailed debriefing will be conducted at a
                later time.
          c.    Any standard investigations that will occur concerning
                the incident should be discussed with the officers.
          d.    The officers should be advised that they may seek
                legal counsel.
          e.    The officers should be advised not to discuss the
                incident with anyone except a personal or agency
                attorney, union representative, or departmental
                investigator, until the conclusion of the preliminary
     6.   The supervisor shall determine whether the circumstances of
          the incident require that the officer's duty weapon be taken
          for laboratory analysis. Where the duty weapon is taken,
          the supervisor shall:
          a.    Take custody of the officer's weapon in a discrete
                manner; and
          b.    Replace it with another weapon, or advise the officer
                that it will be returned or replaced at a later time,
                as appropriate.
     7.   Involved officers should notify their families about the
          incident as soon as possible. Where an officer is unable to
          do so, an agency official shall personally notify his
          family, and arrange for their transportation to the
     8.   At all times, when at the scene of the incident, the
          supervisor should handle the officer and all involved
          personnel in a manner that acknowledges the stress caused by
          the incident.

B.   Post-Incident Procedures
     1.    Involved personnel shall be removed from line duties pending
           evaluation but shall remain available for any necessary
           administrative investigations.
     2.    All officers directly involved in the shooting incident
           shall be required to contact an agency designated specialist
           for counseling and evaluation as soon as practical after the
           incident. Involved support personnel should also be
           encouraged to contact such specialists after a shooting
           incident. After the counseling sessions, the specialist
           shall advise the agency:
           a.    Whether it would be in the officers' best interest to
                 be placed on administrative leave or light duty, and
                 for how long;
           b.    Where the officers were relieved of their duty weapons
                 after an incident, at what point they should be
           c.     What will be the best continued course of counseling.
     3.    The agency strongly encourages the families of the involved
           officers to take advantage of available counseling services.
     4.    Any agency investigation of the incident shall be conducted
           as soon and as quickly as practical.
     5.    The agency should brief other agency members concerning the
           incident so that rumors are kept to a minimum. Agency
           members are encouraged to show the involved officers their
     6.    All personnel involved in a shooting incident should be
           advised that they are not permitted to speak with the media
           about the incident. Officers shall refer inquiries from the
           media to a designated agency spokesperson, unless otherwise
           authorized to release a statement pertaining to the
     7.    In order to protect against crank or abusive calls, officers
           should be advised to have phone calls answered by another
           person for several days if their names are released to the
     8.    Officers directly involved in the shooting incident shall be
           required to requalify as soon as practical.
C.   Daily Stress Recognition
     1.    As post-traumatic stress disorders may not arise
           immediately, or the officers may attempt to hide the
           problem, each supervisor is responsible for monitoring the
           behavior of unit members for symptoms of the disorder.
     2.    A supervisor may order an officer to seek assistance or
           counseling from a mental health specialist upon a reasonable
           belief that stress may be disrupting the officer's job
D.   Training
     1.    The agency shall provide employees with training pertaining
           to post-traumatic stress disorders and the uniform
           procedures contained in this policy on a regular basis.
     2.    Supervisors are responsible for making available to their
           unit members information about the agency's peer counseling
           group and mental health services.

                          BY ORDER OF

                        CHIEF OF POLICE

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